Scout Thinks "Outside the Box" for Pantry Project

Author: Catholic Charities Published:

When Zach Mayer decided to help the poor with his Eagle Scout project he wanted to think “outside the box”.

Typically, Eagle Scout projects are preservation and restoration projects that will serve the community. When Mayer, who is a senior at Bishop Carroll High School, was contemplating his project he saw a story of an Iowa State football player and a donation drive he had organized. It inspired him to help the local community. He discovered Our Daily Bread Food Pantry was running very low on food items, and he had his project.

The purpose of the project was threefold. First he wanted to help the hungry and less fortunate. Second, he wanted others to be aware of the needs of the pantry. Third, his hope was that a small church like his parish, Christ the King, could create a big impact and that others could do the same.

“Food pantries are always in need of food and volunteers,” said Mayer. “I discovered that a food drive is very doable and a way for a parish to share in fellowship.” The project took him about three month to schedule, implement and complete. Through phone calls, family, friends, volunteers, priests and the congregation Mayer lead a successful effort.

The project was a part of Mayer’s rank advancement to Eagle Scout. Eagle Scout is the highest rank a Boy Scout can achieve. The Eagle rank represents years of dedication, hard work, discipline and service to others.

Mayer’s parents said they were proud of him for his choice of Eagle project. They said he was very eager to help others in need, worked hard to achieve that goal and offered up his time, talent and treasure to help others. They said it was a particular challenge for him because Mayer is quite shy.

“He gave a speech to the parish families at all three masses and was very nervous,” his father Stephen Mayer said. “But he gave an excellent speech and was clear on what he was setting out to do.”

Mayer said Catholic Charities made his project doable and even provided the paper sacks to collect the food.

“Anyone can give to or volunteer at a food pantry,” said Mayer. “I simply inquired about what was needed the most at that time.”

If you would like to host a food drive for Our Daily Bread Food Pantry, contact Matt Tannehill at (316) 264-8344 ext. 1504, or email him at

(Zach Mayer poses with some of the 2300 food items he collected for Our Daily Bread Food Pantry. The project was part of his rank advancement to Eagle Scout.)